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The Effects of Multinationals’ Profit Shifting Activities on Real Investments

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  • Overesch, Michael

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the size of multinationals’ real investments in a high–tax country is affected by profit–shifting activities. Tax rates in locations other than the host country impact the cost of capital for multinational companies that shift profits. As profit–shifting opportunities constitute a competitive advantage, the respective size of investments should theoretically increase if profits can be shifted to a lower–taxing country. An empirical analysis based on a panel of German inbound investments confirms a positive tax response of real investments with an increasing tax rate differential between the host country and the foreign direct investor’s home country. Hence, the results suggest that the size of foreign investments in a high–tax country is positively affected by a lower taxation of shifted profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Overesch, Michael, 2009. "The Effects of Multinationals’ Profit Shifting Activities on Real Investments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(1), pages 5-23, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:62:y:2009:i:1:p:5-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harry Grubert & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "The Effect Of Taxes On Investment And Income Shifting To Puerto Rico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 365-373, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Simmler, 2014. "Do multinational firms invest more? On the impact of internal debt financing on capital accumulation," Working Papers 1424, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    2. Ortmann, Regina & Pummerer, Erich, 2015. "Formula apportionment or separate accounting? Tax-induced distortions of multinationals' locational investment decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 198, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    3. Peter Egger & Christian Keuschnigg & Valeria Merlo & Georg Wamser, 2014. "Corporate Taxes and Internal Borrowing within Multinational Firms," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 54-93, May.
    4. Brandstetter, Laura & Jacob, Martin, 2013. "Do corporate tax cuts increase investments?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 153, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    5. Marko Köthenbürger & Mohammed Mardan & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2018. "Profit Shifting and Investment Effects: The Implications of Zero-Taxable Profits," CESifo Working Paper Series 6895, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Multinational Financial Structure and Tax Competition," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(III), pages 381-404, September.
    7. Overesch Michael, 2016. "Steuervermeidung multinationaler Unternehmen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 129-143, July.
    8. Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2014. "Unobserved tax avoidance and the tax elasticity of FDI," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-18.
    9. Egger, Peter & Keuschnigg, Christian & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2011. "Corporate Taxes, Internal Borrowing, and the Lending Capacity within Multinational Firms," Economics Working Paper Series 1142, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    10. repec:spr:sptbec:978-3-642-36306-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Krishanu Karmakar & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2014. "Fiscal Competition versus Fiscal Harmonization: A Review of the Arguments," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1431, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    12. von Hagen, Dominik & Harendt, Christoph, 2017. "Impact of controlled foreign corporation rules on post-acquisition investment and profit shifting in targets," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-062, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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